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Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

Earth
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Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

We are taking a last minute trip to Brandeis University for a 3 day basketball event next week.

We don't know the coast there at all and are wondering if it's too crazy to even think about driving out to the coast for a few days. Not necessarily the Cape or M.V. but maybe north of Boston a little bit or should we consider driving down to Newport?

We don't have reservations yet and the traffic sounds unbearable. That said, we're coastal people (from Seattle) who have been stuck in Chicago for several years. We usually travel to Oregon every summer, but this year we are not able to get out west. This trip to Brandeis might be our only opportunity to breath some ocean air this summer! Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Boston, MA
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1. Re: Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

Check out the recent trip reports about Gloucester and Boston. The Massachusetts coast north of Boston might work for you.

Also ... don't let the traffic scare you. It's not as bad as it used to be (thanks to some road improvements in downtown Boston and heading at the Cape Cod Canal). And ... tourist traffic is the worst on Friday and Sunday late afternoon/early evening ... unless it rains on Sunday then it's heavy earlier. There's a 'blip' around 11-2 on Saturdays because on Cape Cod that's "cottage swap day".

Boston, MA
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2. Re: Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

Check out recent posts about "Gloucester and Boston". It might be a good alternative for you.

Also, don't be scared by the traffic. It's not always bad ... for tourist areas (both north and south of Boston) the worst times are Friday and Sunday from approx 3-8 pm and Saturday it gets a bit busy cuz most cottages rent from Saturday-to-Saturday so it's "swap day".

Another alternative if you have a car, would be to stay on the coast NEAR the beaches ... like stay in Salem and drive to Ipswich or Gloucseter, etc, etc.

Earth
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3. Re: Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

That's wonderful advice, forgotmypassword. Really appreciate it. My husband grew up in D.C. area and remembers the traffic from way-back-when. The update is very timely!

Boston, MA
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4. Re: Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

OK ... first time I posted it said "posting error" so I retyped and posted again and it's a duplicate.

Fairhaven...
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5. Re: Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

If you are considering a drive to Newport, you could go to Horseneck Beach in Westport instead. That is a state run beach. Parking is fairly reasonable for the day. The beach is pristine. It rivals the beaches on Cape Cod in beauty. There is surf there and wide open sand. It is a bit more than an hour from Boston and is doable as a day trip. The traffic is not a big deal. Just avoid the commuting times by leaving early or after 9:00. There will be less traffic going to Horseneck instead of Cape Cod.

Boston, MA
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6. Re: Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

If you want to skip some driving, Amtrak has a Downeaster service from North Station to coastal cities in New Hampshire (Dover) and Maine (Wells and Portland).

It takes about 2.5 hors from Bos ton to portland which will have the easiest car rental services, but Wells offers taxi or bus service to the ebaches of Wells and Ogunquit.

Lincoln, NH
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7. Re: Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

Do it! Really, you're not far. Having lived in Chicago for some time, I'd say the traffic is not worse. Some of our drivers are a bit -- what -- agressive? But not to worry.The Cape really would not be hard to get to from Brandeis. Just keep in mind that the bridges to the Cape are busiest on the weekends. So Brandeis in the summer for basketball? Celtics? Sounds like fun.

Boston
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8. Re: Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

Try it. We went up to Ogunquit, ME last week at the last minute. Booked a room at the Juniper Hill Inn Motel on Thursday, for one night that Saturday. We were surprised we got a room and they let us stay for only one night, especially because the weather was beautiful.The locals are saying it's slow up there this year, but it didn't seem it to us. When we left on Sunday the motel had a no vacancy sign.

Ogunquit is about a 1.5 hour drive from Boston. Beautiful beach and lots of good restaraunts.

Juniper Hill is a very well kept up motel with indoor and outdoor pools. You can walk to the beach, restaurants, downtown. There are many other options in Ogunquit, too.

You have nothing to lose by trying to get a room there or elsewhere.

Boston...
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9. Re: Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

Just a warning -- Newport, RI is difficult to get lodging in summer. Even the hotels in neighboring towns are all booked. Problem is Newport has become very popular the last few years with international visitors and has lots of festivals that draw people there during the summer. So unless you have a definite confirmed hotel/B&B I wouldn't try to show up there without a reservation.

Boston, MA
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10. Re: Too late (or too crazy) for last-minute oceanfront nxt week?

How about Hampton Beach - New Hampshire. It is about a 45 min drive from Boston and lots of hotels on the main strip to the beach. Lots of restaurants and shopping too.